Clovis High student wins FCCLA office

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Farkas Liliana Castillo Clovis High School senior Jessica Farkas won one of 10 offices in the national Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Executive Council. Farkas, who joined FCCLA five years ago, said she was once shy. “I thought it would never be me and all of a sudden it is. It hasn’t quite […]

Victims remembered

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CNJ Staff Photo: Gabriel Monte Sandra Valdez helps her son Hugo Ochoa Jr., 3, decorate a Christmas tree with an ornamental angel bearing the name of his father, Hugo Ochoa. Ochoa was shot and killed in 2006 outside of his Clovis home. By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer Paula Rodriguez of Clovis fought through her […]

Case against officer dropped

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A misdemeanor embezzlement case against a former Clovis police detective was dismissed Tuesday on grounds it lacked prosecutorial merit, according to records filed in Curry County Magistrate Court. Keith Farkas, a 17-year Clovis Police Department veteran, said he is relieved. “It took 363 days to finally get the right […]

Ex-CPD officer’s charges reduced

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A judge reduced criminal charges against a former Clovis police detective from felonies to misdemeanors Wednesday during a probable cause hearing in Curry County Magistrate Court. Keith Farkas, 38, of Clovis was arrested Nov. 9 by state police and charged with felony counts of embezzlement and tampering with evidence. […]

Cases against officers ongoing

CNJ Staff Criminal cases against a former Department of Public Safety officer and a Clovis Police Department detective are still ongoing, according to court records. A jury trial for former DPS officer Dolores Ledezma-Pinon was postponed from its December calendar setting and has been rescheduled for April 12. Ledezma-Pinon resigned from her position in April […]

Clovis police detective charged with embezzlement

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer A Clovis Police Department detective was arrested Wednesday on charges of embezzlement. He’s accused of using a department computer for personal use. Keith Farkas, 38, of Clovis was arrested by state police and charged with one felony count of embezzlement and one count of tampering with evidence. The arrest […]

Cops & courts: Former detective requesting aid

A former Clovis detective now training Iraqi citizens to become police officers is searching for donations to buy them team uniforms and equipment. Keith Bessette, a detective who was shot while serving a search warrant in Clovis in December of 2002, said in a recent telephone interview from Iraq that his group of about 40 […]

Families can spend New Year’s Eve together

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Freedom Newspapers photo: Patrick Wyrick of Garden Grove, Calif., has a collection of 300 to 400 games. Studies have shown games are growing more popular as a family activity. Though most people have far fewer games than Wyrick, they may be a way to By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ Staff Writer As many fight that end-of-the-year […]

Holiday hardship

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Christian Heller Jr., right, laughs as he visits with his niece Rebecca, 8, at the Hellers’ home Friday in Clovis. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Mike Linn: CNJ staff writer Christian Heller Jr. wheels his way to the living room, a tight grin on his face and a desire to have what most people take […]

Police suspect arson

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Clovis firefighter Garrett Nash walks through what used to be the showroom on the eastside of Bender Chevrolet-Cadilac Saturday after it was destroyed by a fire earlier in the day. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) by David Irvin An early-morning fire Saturday at Bender Chevrolet-Cadillac on Mabry Drive is being investigated as arson, police said. Clovis […]

Defense: Witness’ stories deviate

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer Prosecutors began their first full day of presenting witnesses on Tuesday in the case of Fernando Garcia, who is charged with murdering Moises Ortiz during a February 2003 dogfight at Ortiz’s home in south Clovis. The defense attempted to discredit a witness of the alleged crime during questioning, […]

Shooting suspect secured

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Clovis police officials detain people for questioning in the 500 block of Sheldon Street Wednesday during a raid. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth. By Darrell Todd Maurina A Clovis Police Department SWAT team on Wednesday picked up the last of three suspects wanted in connection with a February shooting. Josh Martinez, 19, was arrested without […]

Lounge shooting victim identified

By Darrell Todd Maurina Clovis police have released the name of the man shot early Sunday morning at the Prince Lounge, but say they have no suspects in custody. Detective Keith Farkas said witnesses told police that Ricardo Urquizo, 21, of Clovis, was shot once in the abdomen by a bullet fired from a red […]

Farkas promoted to production manager

CNJ Staff Former Clovis News Journal news editor Tony Farkas is now the production manager of the printing and mailroom operations for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. His promotion was announced this week by Ray Sullivan, FNNM publisher. He began his new duties last fall. Farkas said, “I made the switch from editorial to production […]

Suspected boy bandit busted

By Darrell Todd Maurina An 11-year-old boy is suspected in a series of armed robberies that plagued Clovis for the past month. Police say the boy used a plastic toy gun for his crimes — at least until his mother caught him shooting at a cat and took the gun away from him over the […]